Bonum Certa Men Certa

The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXII: The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania

Series parts:

  1. The EPO's Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part I: Let the Sunshine In!
  2. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part II: A “Unanimous” Endorsement?
  3. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part III: Three Missing Votes
  4. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IV: The Founding States
  5. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part V: Germany Says “Ja”
  6. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VI: A Distinct Lack of Dutch Courage
  7. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VII: Luxembourgish Laxity
  8. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part VIII: Perfidious Albion and Pusillanimous Hibernia
  9. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IX: More Holes Than Swiss Cheese
  10. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part X: Introducing the Controversial Christian Bock
  11. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XI: “General Bock” - Battistelli's Swiss Apprentice?
  12. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XII: The French Connection
  13. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIII: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Spain
  14. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XIV: Battistelli's Iberian Facilitators - Portugal
  15. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XV: Et Tu Felix Austria…
  16. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVI: The Demise of the Austrian Double-Dipper
  17. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVII: The Non-Monolithic Nordic Bloc
  18. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XVIII: Helsinki's Accord
  19. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part IXX: The Baltic States
  20. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XX: The Visegrád Group
  21. The EPO’s Overseer/Overseen Collusion — Part XXI: The Balkan League – The Doyen and His “Protégée”
  22. YOU ARE HERE ☞ The Balkan League - North Macedonia and Albania


EIA Balkan states
Elvin Lako (Albania) with Safet Emruli and Goran Gerasimovski (North Macedonia) attending the 2019 European Inventor boondoggle in Vienna.



Summary: We continue to look at Benoît Battistelli's enablers at the EPO

In this part the focus will be on the delegations representing two key members of the EPO's "Balkan League", namely North Macedonia and Albania.



Battistelli's Croatian "bulldog", Željko Topić is reputed to have had particularly close connections with Safet Emruli, who headed the North Macedonian State Office of Intellectual Property (SOIP) between 2009 and 2020.

Topic and Eemruli
Topić is reputed to have had close connections with Safet Emruli, head of the North Macedonian IPO.
(Top: 2010; bottom: 2018).



In a separate series about North Macedonia published earlier this year, it was revealed that Emruli is an active member of the ethnic Albanian DUI party. The DUI plays a significant role in the political life of North Macedonia and it has participated in government as a coalition partner in most administrations over the last two decades.

"In a separate series about North Macedonia published earlier this year, it was revealed that Emruli is an active member of the ethnic Albanian DUI party."Emruli was appointed as head of the North Macedonian SOIP in 2009 as part of a political deal between the DUI and its senior coalition partner, the Slavic ultra-nationalist VMRO-DPMNE under the leadership of the notoriously corrupt Nikola Gruevski.

Emruli remained in this position until he resigned in 2020 after he had been implicated in irregularities concerning academic appointments at the DUI-controlled State University of Tetovo.

"Emruli remained in this position until he resigned in 2020 after he had been implicated in irregularities concerning academic appointments at the DUI-controlled State University of Tetovo."As explained in the earlier series, there are reasons to suspect that Emruli ended up as a “casualty” of inter-party political deal-making connected with the formation of the new government in North Macedonia in the late summer of 2020.

He fell on his sword shortly after attending the 164th meeting of the EPO Administrative Council on 13 October 2020.

It seems that he was obliged to play the “fall guy” in order to protect his more senior party comrade Agim Nuhiu who was promoted to second-in-charge at the Justice Ministry. Meanwhile, the top position at the North Macedonian SOIP was awarded to Goran Gerasimovski, a rising star of the dominant partner in the new coalition government, the social-democratic SDSM.

Emruli and Gerasimovski
Ethnic Albanian DUI party hack Emruli (l.) was replaced by SDSM poster‑boy Goran Gerasimovski (r.) in October 2020 as part of a backroom political deal connected with the formation of a new SDSM-led government.



"Thanks to his ethnic Albanian connections, which he liked to wear on his sleeve, Emruli was a useful middleman for garnering the support of the Albanian delegation on the EPO's Administrative Council."During his term as head of the SOIP, Emruli had enough free time at his disposal to complete a doctorate in law at the University of Tirana in Albania. Thanks to his ethnic Albanian connections, which he liked to wear on his sleeve, Emruli was a useful middleman for garnering the support of the Albanian delegation on the EPO's Administrative Council.

In June 2013, the Albanian delegation was headed by Safet Sula. Sula had previously been mayor of the town of Kukës during the period 1996 to 2000 and later, between 2005 and 2009, he was a member of parliament for the Democratic Party of Albania.

The Democratic Party of Albania was founded by the notoriously corrupt Sali Berisha who headed the party until his election defeat in 2013. Berisha has recently been sanctioned by the US State Department due to his "involvement in significant corruption".

"The Democratic Party of Albania was founded by the notoriously corrupt Sali Berisha who headed the party until his election defeat in 2013."In 2009, under Berisha's premiership, Sula was appointed as head of the Albanian Patent Office. He remained in this position until 2013 when the Democratic Party performed poorly in the general election and fell from power.

According to Albanian sources, following his departure from the Albanian Patent Office, Sula is now the owner of a small family business in Tirana which is described as a "key shop".

Safet Sula
Safet Sula, former mayor of Kukës and member of parliament for the Democratic Party of Albania, served as head of the Albanian Patent Office between 2009 and 2013 under Sali Berisha.



Sula's successor as head of the Albanian Patent Office was Elvin Lako, a graduate of the Faculty of Law of the University of Tirana. Lako had previously been an inspector at the Department of Internal Administrative Control and Anti-Corruption (DIACA), which performs internal controls on all administrative bodies.

Lako and Emruli
Lako (left) and Emruli (right) signing a bilateral agreement in April 2018.



Lako headed the Albanian Patent Office until November 2019. Some time later in October 2020, he was appointed to his current position with the Central Election Commission (CEC) which is responsible for the oversight of election procedures in Albania. He is currently a member of the Complaints and Sanctions Committee of the CEC.

Elvin Lako
After leaving the Albanian Patent Office, Elvin Lako was appointed to a position with the Central Election Commission in October 2020.



The current head of the Albanian Patent Office is Ledina Beqiraj who was appointed to this position in November 2019. Beqiraj is a graduate of the Luarasi University, a private university established in Tirana in 2003.

Ledina Beqiraj
Ledina Beqiraj was appointed as head of the Albanian Patent Office in November 2019.



Before taking over at the helm of the national "IP" office, Beqiraj was a director at the Albanian Ministry of Culture. She previously worked at the "High Inspectorate of Declaration and Audit of Assets and Conflict of Interest" (HIDAACI). This is the state authority which administers and audits the declaration of assets and financial interests which must be submitted by elected representatives and other senior public officials. According to its website, HIDAACI "collaborates with audit structures and other institutions responsible for the fight against corruption and economic crime".

Ledina Beqiraj and Safet Emruli
Ledina Beqiraj with Safet Emruli during a visit to the North Macedonian Patent Office in 2019.



It remains to be seen what contribution, if any, Beqiraj will manage to make to the EPO and its governance. Perhaps her previous experience with "audit structures and other institutions responsible for the fight against corruption and economic crime" could be put to good use?

"It remains to be seen what contribution, if any, Beqiraj will manage to make to the EPO and its governance."We'll just have to wait and see.

In the next part we will turn our attention to the delegation representing another important member of the EPO's "Balkan League", Bulgaria.

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